The accumulation of plastics in the aquatic environment is a global issue of emerging concern. Small plastic particles known as microplastics (MP) represent about 92% of the total plastic waste. Many organisms can ingest MP, which are eventually transferred to humans through food chain. MPs can cause toxic and adverse effects on organisms, including endocrine disruption, mortality, delayed ovulation, and hepatic stress.
Advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) have been proved effective for the treatment of such biologically recalcitrant pollutants. The key advantage of AOPs is that they generate, in-situ, reactive oxygen species, which, in turn, react with the pollutants and eventually mineralize them to safe final products. Using an appropriate AOP as a pre-treatment to conventional biological treatment can lead to partial mineralization of organic content, accompanied with detoxification and biodegradability improvement of the treated effluent.
The aim of this project is to explore and develop new sustainable and efficient technologies to remove microplastics from water and wastewater.
The following experimental tasks will take place to successfully accomplish the proposed project:
Task 1. Preparation of MP polluted water samples
Task 2. Development of analytical methods to detect and quantify MP in water
Task 3. Degradation of MP in wastewater by AOPs
Minimum entry qualification - an Honours degree at 2:1 or above (or International equivalent) in a relevant science or engineering discipline, possibly supported by an MSc Degree. Further information on English language requirements for EU/Overseas applicants.